Saturday, June 06, 2020

Green Wage Subsidy webinar on Tuesday June 9th

Next Tuesday evening, at 8 pm, I will be presenting a webinar on Zoom about the Green Wage Subsidy. Here are the details:

Topic: NS Green Party - Green New Deal
Time: Jun 9, 2020 20:00 London time

 Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 857 7848 5510
Password: 836741

The aim of the webinar is to get my local Green Party to persuade our MP to help set up a Green Wage Subsidy pilot in North Somerset. However, this is not confined to North Somerset. Anyone can play. Please join the webinar, and lobby your own MP to join this important initiative. 

There is a massive desire on the part of many people, well beyond the boundaries of the Green Party to re-boot the economy in safe and sustainable mode when lock-down is over. GWS is one way of changing the desire into reality. 

Here is a letter to the MP that you can use as a template:

John Penrose MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

I hope you and your family are safe and well.

The Covid-19 pandemic is bringing on a recession. I hope that you will be ready to help to bring about Green Wage Subsidy (GWS) as a way of countering unemployment caused by the recession.

We need to remove all administrative blocks to people moving into necessary work. The key point is that we must terminate the withdrawal of benefit which happens when a claimant finds work in vital sections of the economy.

This will require the Local Authority to appoint an officer who can issue accreditation to economically active groups whose work is of benefit to the environment or society.

The accredited employer is then able to engage people from the Job Centre, and on top of the benefit they continue to receive, the employer brings the wage up to the going rate for the job. The Job Centre simply notes on the record that the person has obtained work under the GWS.

At this point in time, the ability to hire workers easily, and at a low rate of pay, will be most welcome for the all employers, many of whom are facing unprecedented cash flow problems.

The economically active groups who should benefit from GWS at present are:

1.      NHS
2.      Agriculture, particularly since there is expected to be a lack of seasonal pickers
3.      Education and schools
4.      Water supply
5.      Sewage services
6.      Power services
7.      Builders for vital work such as roof leaks
8.     Waste collection services and other departments in the local authority

As the reinfection rate recedes and the economy is able to open up further, the following  areas of work can benefit from GWS:

      Meeting Environmental needs

1.      Energy conservation
2.      Renewable energy technologies
3.      Energy storage
4.      Energy efficient goods manufacture
5.      Public transport
6.      Pollution control technology
7.      Waste minimisation
8.      Repair
9.      Recycling
10.  Water management
11.  Sustainable agriculture
12.  Forestry and timber use
13.  Countryside management

Meeting human needs
14.  Housing - new building and refurbishment
15.  Improvements to visual environment
16.  Education and training
17.  Counselling, caring, and healing
18.  Community work
19.  Leisure and tourism
20.  Innovation, research, and development in these areas

I am sure you will agree that in the present situation, the removal of the bureaucratic complexities that impede people from moving from benefits to work is a good solution to what is otherwise a very major economic problem, and will significantly reduce the terrible burden that unemployment places on individuals and community.

The beauty of GWS is that it does not need new money: benefit that is at present paid on condition that the recipient does no work, is still paid in the same measure, but under GWS it becomes a subsidy to the vital, life preserving sections of the economy.

To come about, we need your good self to persuade the Treasury to give a derogation to North Somerset Council on the withdrawal of benefit for the purposes of running a pilot scheme.

I very much hope that you will agree to help take this forward.

Kind regards

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